As I promised in the post European Day of Languages, here is my follow-up to the night.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience! The free language classes were a lot of fun. There must have been several hundred in attendance as the classes filled up quickly.
The event was held at the Goethe Institut, which is a language institute for learning German. The Goethe Institut has four classrooms. So for each time slot, there were maximum of four classes being held.
I attended Hungarian for the first class. We learned a number of basic words and phrases. We also learned phrases related to going to a restaurant. This was because the teacher created a scenario where she had just graduated from Le Cordon Bleu college, and she was going to open a restaurant in Hungary. The class helped me practice some basic Hungarian words and get used to the Hungarian sounds. I also learned the Hungarian alphabet, although with 44 letters to it, I will definitely have to review it!
I attended Polish next. As with Hungarian, I was able to practice a few basic greetings, learn a few more, and overall hear more of how Polish sounds.
I unfortunately didn’t make it in time for Finnish. However, I did attend Italian. I learned a few words, which was good. More so, I learned a little bit of how to intonate Italian. That is, in addition to the sounds and word, and sentence, stress in a language, one must learn the rhythm, the flow, or melody of a language. Italian, as a language is very expressive. Even without the various hand gestures frequently used in Italian, the phrases are uttered with emotion.
Lastly, I attended Lithuanian. The teacher spent some time showing us how Lithuanian is one of the oldest Indo-European (IE) languages still alive today. She compared many words to the forms in Sanskrit, Latin, Ancient Greek, and other IE languages. After the comparison, she took us through a Lithuanian story and she had us inflect* several nouns in the context of the story. She did give us the tools we needed to do this. I found inflecting on the spot a little difficult, but it was fun nonetheless.
I would recommend attending the EDL next year if you have the time, like languages, and live in Toronto. If you are in another city, perhaps there is an EDL, or something similar, in your city.
*Noun inflection means to change the ending of a noun based on the function of the noun in a sentence (that is, their case). For example, in English, pronouns inflect for case – I is for subject, me for object, and my for possessive.